Captain’s Chair: Neglect

Walking Hurts The Heart

August 2019 Feature Brady L. Kay

I wouldn’t say that I’m one of those people, but I like to whisper sarcastic comments to my wife as we walk around the neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong, I get along great with my neighbors, but I can’t help but make comments that come to my mind as we pass by: Yikes, don’t these people own a lawn mower? Contrary to popular belief, dandelions are not rare flowers. Just how many cats do they own?

I can’t help it. It’s the only way I can get motivated to keep walking I guess. Plus, secretly I think my wife still appreciates my quick wit, although she’d never admit it. But there is one particular house that drives me nuts that I really should just try to avoid. The sight is so awful that it gets my sarcastic juices flowing to the point of disgust. I could argue that walking could actually be considered bad for me, or at least bad for my health when I go by this street.

There is a house in my neighborhood that has two good-looking cars that are always clean with a mirror-like finish parked in the driveway. But what disturbs me is these luxury car owners also have a boat—a cheap and ugly boat, to be specific. The part that upsets me the most isn’t that it’s old, but that it’s neglected. There is nothing wrong with owning an old boat, but I was raised to take care of things and this boat has seen better days. I could care less if the boat is brand new or older than Betty White; if you can’t take care of it you should pass it along to someone who will.

My boating life started when I was hardly tall enough to see over the helm from my grandpa’s knee, so boating is just a way of life for me. I shine my boat, moisturize the seats so they never crack and I generally do what it takes to keep it looking as new as the day I got her. I love my vessel, but I don’t play favorites. I give the same respect from my truck down to my motorcycle, which by the way is over 15 years old, yet still looks like new.

Of course this broken down disaster is parked in plain sight for all to see. It’s not in the garage or even hidden behind a fence, but parked right by the side of the house so I’ll have something to complain about for the rest of our walk. The cover is haphazardly placed with the straps hanging loose, yet sitting next to the paint-peeling trailer is two well-maintained cars so I know they have it in them to do better.

As we walk by each time I look for a sign, any sign that the owners might have done anything to show this boat a hint of love since the last time we passed by. With fall just around the corner I’m guessing another summer has come and gone without that boat even moving an inch.  

I’m not sure how much more I can take of this. If ever there were a boat that needed to be rescued it’s this one. I should come by in the night and swipe it for a prank just so he’d learn to appreciate what he has. But on second thought I doubt he’d miss it or even notice that it was gone. I do wish it would just disappear. Then I could get back to better things on my walk, like commenting to my wife: Christmas lights in March—always a nice touch. I wonder if they know their porch light has been on for three weeks. It’s Wednesday; your yard sale is over pal.


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